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fifa arrests

Two FIFA officials have been arrested in a dawn raid at the luxury Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich on suspicion of accepting millions of dollars of bribes.

Police swooped on the luxury hotel, where several FIFA officials were arrested in May.

A two-day meeting of FIFA’s executive committee is taking place in Zurich, Switzerland, to vote on reforms.

“FIFA became aware of the actions taken today by the US Department of Justice,” the soccer’s world governing body said.FIFA arrests Baur au Lac Hotel Zurich

“FIFA will continue to co-operate fully with the US investigation as permitted by Swiss law, as well as with the investigation being led by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General.

“FIFA will have no further comment on today’s developments.”

In May, seven FIFA officials, including two vice presidents, were arrested at the same hotel at the request of a US investigation into corruption, as the organization was engulfed by claims of widespread wrongdoing.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FoJ) has said the two people arrested overnight are alleged to have taken money for selling marketing rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America, as well as World Cup qualifying matches.

“A further two FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich today,” the Swiss FoJ said on December 3.

“They are being held in custody pending their extradition [to the US]. According to the US arrest requests, they are suspected of accepting bribes of millions of dollars.”

Swiss officials said they would release the names of the two arrested people and the outcomes of the hearings later on Thursday, December 3.

A Swiss criminal investigation into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was also launched earlier this year, alongside the US inquiry.


FIFA will open its annual congress despite warnings from sponsors that they may review ties over the arrest of seven top officials on corruption charges.

FIFA’s key sponsors have issued statements putting increasing pressure on the soccer governing body over the mounting corruption allegations.

Visa warned that it will reassess its sponsorship unless FIFA makes changes.

Coca-Cola said: “The lengthy controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup.”

Adidas, McDonald’s and Hyundai Motor also expressed concern and said they were monitoring the situation closely.

The European football body UEFA will decide whether to boycott May 29 vote for the next FIFA president.Seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich 2015

Incumbent President Sepp Blatter has yet to appear in public since the arrests.

Sepp Blatter, who is hoping to secure a fifth term at FIFA’s congress in Zurich, was not named in the corruption investigations.

FIFA provisionally banned from football-related activity 11 of the 14 people charged by the US authorities on Wednesday.

They are accused of racketeering, fraud and money laundering, including charges of receiving bribes to influence the outcome of bids to stage football tournaments, such as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2016 Copa America in the US. South African’s main football body has denied the claim.

Sepp Blatter said on May 27: “Such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game.”

Swiss prosecutors plan to interview ten FIFA executive committee members as part of a separate investigation into the bidding process for the World Cup tournaments in 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar.

UEFA reacted to the latest events by saying they were “a disaster for FIFA and tarnish the image of football as a whole”.

The European body said Friday’s congress risked becoming a “farce” and that the vote should be postponed.

Those indicted in the US case are accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150 million over a 24-year period beginning in 1991.

Spelling out details of the US case, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said some FIFA executives had “used their positions to solicit bribes. They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament”.

The seven arrested in Zurich were vice-presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo; Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Rafael Esquivel and Jose Maria Marin. They face extradition requests from the US.